Many of us facetiously claim we're not far from making that move to the pole when we're down and out and when the funds aren't looking right. I've been one of those people, only except I've been deadass. And if I could dance or could find a club that would take me as I am (raw rhythmless talent), I would have no qualms about twerking my student loans off.
I've been drawn to the idea of sex work and sex workers since I was younger. I recall wanting to read books like Diary of an Unlikely Call Girl in high school and taking an interest in sex workers as the subject of class videography projects. I admire and envy their ability all at once. Mostly because the way they hustle has always been dazzling (refer to the second definition of dazzling in a swift Google search before speaking) to watch.
Truly, it's a hustle that's not for everybody. It's a career that requires you to constantly unpack and acknowledge what boundaries you may or may not have. Sex workers have a particular gumption that entrepreneurs in other industries can undoubtedly learn from.
In fact, here are 5 things we can learn from sex workers that can be applied to any and every industry or you could say, the 5 commandments of doing business.
So many of us entrepreneurs and even nine-to-fivers lower our value when it comes to putting a price on our product or negotiating our salaries, but I've noticed that many sex workers refuse to work for free. Not for nothing. At all times, they want to know where the cash at and they want it upfront. Stop lowballing yourself and get this money, unapologetically. Which ties into my next point...
Respect Thy Boundaries
We often lose boundaries that allow for work-life balance once we begin working for companies. We find ourselves doing more than we're comfortable with and far more than we're paid for, blurring the lines of expectation. I know that we, especially women of color, have been taught that we have to work twice as hard but f*ck that! Your job is your job and you're not being paid for anything more than that. Do what's in your job description and do it damn good, but as soon as they up the ante, it's time for them to up the paycheck. Stop allowing them to get free labor out of you.
Thou Shall Care For Self
I'm not so naive to think that every sex worker is afforded the time and overall resources that allow for proper self-care, but I have noticed that there are a number of them who do make time for self-care. Part of this is because their job requires a certain level of maintenance, which crosses over into the self-care department such as maintaining hair and nails. These are things that we sometimes forget to normalize in our lives, they become secondary when really this type of pampering should be made primary. That doesn't mean you have to go to the shop and splurge every time, but maybe you invest in that home spa so that you can budget your money and time for self-care.
Sex workers promote themselves using whatever platforms are readily available and they promote their work well. Sex sells and they play that to their advantage. Although, I'm not suggesting that everyone begin to promote their brand using sexuality and sensuality, you should definitely play up your strengths.
On Their Own Terms
They stay at the party as long as it pleases them (particularly for sex workers who aren't survival sex workers). They have an exit strategy, usually through other means of entrepreneurial endeavors. Meanwhile, we tend to, especially in 9-to-5 roles that we hate, overstay our welcome. We ask God to send us signs that it's time to get out the game when in actuality, we knew it was time to leave days, weeks, months ago. Listen to that feeling that tells you when it's time to exit stage left.
What Sex Workers Need You To Know About Their Careers – Read More
8 Ways to Appear More Professional As An Entrepreneur – Read More
10 Ways To Develop An Entrepreneurial Mindset (Whether You Have A Business Or A 9 To 5) – Read More
I Quit My Job 3 Years Ago And Built A Badass Brand With These 5 Steps – Read More
Featured image by Getty Images.
Motor City native, Atlanta living. Sagittarius. Writer. Sexpert. Into all things magical, mystical, and unknown. I'll try anything at least once but you knew that the moment I revealed that I was a Sag.
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Chief Mom Officer: 23 Quotes From Working Moms Finding Their Balance
The truth is, Black moms create magic every single day. Whether we're juggling motherhood with a busy 9-5, a thriving business, or staying at home to run a household, no day is short of amazing when you're managing life as a mommy. This Mother's Day, xoNecole is giving flowers to CMOs (Chief Mom Officers) in business who exemplify the strength it takes to balance work with motherhood. We've commissioned these ladies, who are pillars in their respective industries, for tidbits of advice to get you through the best and worst days of mothering. Here, they share their "secret sauce" and advice for other moms trying to find their rhythm.
Emmelie De La Cruz, Chief Strategist at One Day CMO
"My mom friends and I all laugh and agree: Motherhood is the ghettoest thing you will ever do. It's beautiful and hard all at the same time, but one day you will wake up and feel like 'I got this' and you will get the hang of it. After 4 months, I finally felt like I found my footing to keep my kid and myself alive, but it took vulnerability to take off the cape and be honest about the areas that I didn't have it all together. The healing (physically and emotionally) truly does happen in community - whatever and whoever that looks like for you."
Alizè V. Garcia, Director Of Social & Community Impact at Nike
"I would tell a new mom or a prospective mother that they must give themselves grace, understand and remember there is no right way to do this thing and have fun! When I had my daughter three and a half years ago, I was petrified! I truly had no clue about what to do and how I was going to do it. But with time, my confidence grew and I realized quickly that I have all the tools I need to be the mother I want to be."
Nikki Osei-Barrett, Publicist + Co-Founder of The Momference
"There's no balance. I'm dropping sh*t everywhere! However, my secret sauce is pursuing interests and hobbies outside of what's required of me and finding time to workout. Stronger body equals = stronger mind."
Lauren Grove, Chief Experience Architect, The Grant Access, LLC
"I try to give myself grace. That’s my mantra for this phase of motherhood…grace. I won’t be able to get everything done. To have a spotless house. To not lose my cool after an exhausting day. Those things can’t happen all of the time. But I can take a deep breath and know tomorrow is another day and my blessings are more plentiful than my pitfalls."
Rachel Nicks, Founder & CEO of Birth Queen
"You have the answers within you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Curate your life to work for you. Ask for help."
Tanisha Colon-Bibb, Founder + CEO Rebelle Agency + Rebelle Management
"I know love doesn't pay bills but when I am overwhelmed with work or client demands I take a moment to play with my baby and be reminded of the love, energy, science, and Godliness that went into his birth. I am brightened by his smile and laugh. I remember I am someone's parent and not just a work horse. That at the end of the day everything will work out for the good of my sanity and the love within my life."
Christina Brown, Founder of LoveBrownSugar & BabyBrownSugar
"Learning your rhythm as a mom takes time and can be uncomfortable when you’re in a season of overwhelm. Constantly check in with yourself and assess what’s working and what’s not. Get the help you need without feeling guilty or ashamed of needing it."
Mecca Tartt, Executive Director of Startup Runway Foundation
"I want to be the best for myself, my husband, children and company. However, the reality is you can have it all but not at the same time. My secret sauce is outsourcing and realizing that it’s okay to have help in order for me to perform at the highest level."
Jen Hayes Lee, Head Of Marketing at The Bump (The Knot Worldwide)
"My secret sauce is being direct and honest with everyone around me about what I need to be successful in all of my various "jobs". Setting boundaries is one thing, but if you're the only one who knows they exist, your partners at home and on the job can't help you maintain them. I also talk to my kids like adults and let them know why mommy needs to go to this conference or get this massage...they need to build an appreciation for my needs too!"
Whitney Gayle-Benta, Chief Music Officer JKBX
"What helps me push through each day is the motivation to continue by thinking about my son. All my efforts, though exhausting, are to create a wonderful life for him."
Ezinne Okoro, Global Chief Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Officer at Wunderman Thompson,
"The advice I received that I’ll pass on is, you will continue to figure it out and find your rhythm as your child grows into new stages. Trust your nurturing intuition, parent on your terms, and listen to your child."
Jovian Zayne, CEO of The OnPurpose Movement
"I live by the personal mantra: 'You can’t be your best self by yourself.' My life feels more balanced when I offer the help I can give and ask for the help I need. This might mean outsourcing housecleaning for my home, or hiring additional project management support for my business."
Simona Noce Wright, Co-Founder of District Motherhued and The Momference
"Each season of motherhood (depending on age, grade, workload) requires a different rhythm. With that said, be open to learning, to change, and understand that what worked for one season may not work the other...and that's okay."
Janaye Ingram, Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement at Airbnb
"My daughter's smile and sweet spirit help me to feel gratitude when I'm overwhelmed. I want her to see a woman who doesn't quit when things get hard."
Codie Elaine Oliver, CEO & Founder of Black Love
"I try to listen to my body and simply take a break. With 3 kids and a business with 10+ team members, I often feel overwhelmed. I remind myself that I deserve grace for everything I'm juggling, I take a walk or have a snack or even head home to see my kids, and then I get back to whatever I need to get done."
Jewel Burks Solomon, Managing Partner at Collab Capital
"Get comfortable with the word ‘no’. Be very clear about your non-negotiables and communicate them to those around you."
Bridget Bogee, Marketing Lead At Meta
"Ask for help and always prioritize making time for you."
Julee Wilson, Executive Director at BeautyUnited and Beauty Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan
"Understand you can’t do it alone — and that’s ok. Relinquish the need to control everything. Create a village and lean on them."
Salwa Benyaich, Director Of Pricing and Planning at Premion
"Most days I really try to shut my computer off by 6 pm; there are always exceptions of course when it comes to big deals or larger projects but having this as a baseline allows me to be much more present with my kids. I love the fact that I can either help with homework or be the designated driver to at least one afterschool activity. Work can be draining but there is nothing more emotionally draining than when you feel as though you are missing out on moments with your kids."
Brooke Ellis, Head of Global Marketing & Product Launches at Amazon Music
My calendar, prayer, pilates class at Forma, a good playlist, and oatmilk lattes all help get me through any day.
Courtney Beauzile, Global Director of Client and Business Development at Shearman & Sterling
My husband is a partner who steps in when I just can’t. My mom and my MIL come through whenever and however I need. My kids have many uncles and aunts and they will lend an ear, go over homework, teach life lessons, be a presence or a prayer warrior depending on the day.
Robin Snipes, Chief of Staff at Meta
"Enjoy the time you have to yourself because once kids come those times will be few and far between."
Monique Bivens, CEO & Founder at Brazilian Babes LLC.
"For new moms, it is very important that you get back into a habit or routine of something you use to do before you were pregnant. Consider the actives and things that give you the most joy and make the time to do them."
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